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September 14, 2018
Join thousands of people this coming weekend, 14-17th September 2018, for the annual Great British Beach Clean. Meet like minded people and do your bit for our coastline by taking part in this global movement to keep our beaches clean.
Beach litter is currently at it’s highest level since records began.
This is a startling statement and one that is becoming increasingly obvious with each beach walk we take along our beloved British coastline. Records show that there are nearly 2,500 pieces of litter for every Kilometre of beach – an increase of 140% since 1994 and 10% up on the figures from 2016.
Eating and drinking packets and utensils contribute to 20% of the litter and whilst plastic bag litter has declined, balloon litter is up 50%. Wet wipe litter has increased seven-fold over the past decade due to our need for convenience. Plastic bottle littler is also on the increase and starting to spiral out of control.
I witnessed this first hand on a recent sourcing trip to Ghana where the Atlantic waters that used to be clean and sparkling along the coast are now filled with plastic debris. The mountains of plastic bottles pulled from the coast around Accra are an attempt to clean up the problem but the sea behind them is still crammed with more.
Beach litter, as we know can be very hazardous to our wildlife and some of our best-loved marine life is under threat. Plastic is now getting into our food chain via the fish we eat. The situation is reaching crisis point and is now threatening tourism and fishing industries around the world.
It is time for us all to wake up and cut down on our plastic use and turn the tide on this problem whilst we still have time. It will take a change of habit but there is no reason we cannot do it and start to move towards a plastic free society.
Beachwatch is our national beach cleaning and litter surveying programme - helping people all around the UK to care for their coastline. To learn more about Beachwatch's work and find a beach clean near you head to their website.
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